PV Student Hunger Drive thrives after a rocky start

Shobini+Iyer+and+Jillian+Keppy+pose+in+front+of+thousands+of+pounds+of+cans+donated+by+students+and+community+members+for+the+annual+SHD.

Erika Holmberg

Shobini Iyer and Jillian Keppy pose in front of thousands of pounds of cans donated by students and community members for the annual SHD.

Erika Holmberg, Copy Editor

Every fall marks the kickoff to the annual Student Hunger Drive (SHD), an event that PV has been actively involved in for many years. 

SHD combats food insecurity in the area by encouraging students to donate non-perishable food items to be sent to the Riverbend Food Bank. 

PV is typically one of the highest donating schools in the area, but the start to this year’s SHD showed signs of proving otherwise. 

In the first two weeks of SHD, food donations were very sparse. Teachers’ boxes left in classrooms were empty, class donation counts on teacher’s whiteboards were at zero and the big pallets in the main hallway were bare. 

It was almost as if SHD was not even happening at all. 

For a school that has been heavily involved in SHD for many years, it came as a surprise to PV staff and students when donations were abysmally lower than in years past. 

Spartan Assembly executive member Will Fairman attributed the few donations to poor advertising. “Typically, every year we have a hunger drive assembly to create hype surrounding the six-week long event,” stated Fairman. “However, due to COVID-19 we were only able to plug the hunger drive for 60 seconds at the last assembly. This most definitely hurt our support and advertising for the drive.”

Advertising is one of the driving forces of the SHD. Without big assemblies or school-wide events, students often do not feel compelled to donate. 

Despite the support from school-wide events or teacher-driven incentives, Spartan Assembly was able to bring donations up to speed through its own efforts outside of school. 

“Spartan Assembly has worked tirelessly through grocery shifts, school donations, and collecting donations from local businesses,” stated Spartan Assembly teacher coordinator Zachary Miller. 

Outside of school events such as these, in addition to trick-or-treating for cans and Fill the Truck, have caused donations to skyrocket in the right direction. PV is back on track to reaching a donation goal of 73,000 pounds.

As donations begin to increase for SHD, it is important for students to realize the impact their donations have on their community. 

“We participate in the SHD as a way to help our local community…Since the pandemic began, many more families in our district and community have turned to the foodbank for food as many have experienced life-changing events,” stated Miller. 

Donations are more important than ever because of the effects COVID-19 has had on families. As SHD comes to a close, it is important to keep this thought in mind. People can donate through the school, at their local grocery stores and through this online link.  

Despite the start to this year’s SHD being slower than anticipated, PV has brought donations up to speed. With two weeks remaining for the event, students are excited to finish SHD strong.